John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Beware the Ides of March!

It's been a couple of years since I posted this, so I figure it's time to bring it off the bench for the benefit of people who missed it last time. That's me in the center of the photo, which was taken in the spring of 1989 or 1990. The full story can be found here, but the short version is that when I took Latin in college, I played the part of a candidate for election to the Roman Senate for a class project, and was therefore required from time to time to wear a toga in public.

Just in case you've forgotten the story:

The following story, too, is told by many. A certain seer warned Caesar to be on his guard against a great peril on the day of the month of March which the Romans call the Ides; and when the day had come and Caesar was on his way to the senate-house, he greeted the seer with a jest and said: "Well, the Ides of March are come," and the seer said to him softly: "Ay, they are come, but they are not gone." (Plutarch, Life of Caesar 63:5-6)

Suetonius tells the same story in The Lives of the Twelve Caesars, and of course Shakespeare dramatized the warning in Act I, scene ii of Julius Caesar. And of course, the warning came true, as Caesar was assassinated on ides (i.e. the 15th day) of March. Not that I'm telling you anything you didn't already know.


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